Suffolk athlete Harry Hughes kicks off season with a massive PB while competing in GB vest

Harry Hughes, Suffolk's international javelin star, set a big PB in Gran Canaria last weekend

Harry Hughes, Suffolk's international javelin star, set a big PB in Gran Canaria last weekend - Credit: Archant

Harry Hughes, who is targeting next year’s Commonwealth Games, produced a “confidence-boosting” personal best display at the European Throwing Cup staged in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, last weekend.

The Stowmarket-based international javelin thrower, competing for Great Britain in the Canary Islands, recorded a huge throw of 76.59 metres to set him up for a busy season ahead.

Hughes was the No. 1 javelin thrower in the UK last year, in the under-20 age group, and the No.2 across all the age categories, and this year he is negotiating the tricky step up to under-23 level.

But the 19-year-old West Suffolk AC athlete looks like he will take it all in his stride, as he builds towards possible appearances at the European Team Championships in France, and the Euro Under-23 Championships in Poland, later this summer.

And his ultimate goal is a trip to the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, for next year’s Commonwealth Games.

“I’m very happy with my performance in Gran Canaria,” enthused Hughes, a former pupil at King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds.

“It’s a real confidence booster. I had thrown 75 metres last May (75.46m, in Halle, Germany), but I hadn’t gone beyond 75 metres since then, until last weekend.

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“I knew that my winter training had been going well, and two weeks ago I threw 72.80m at the Euro Throws Trials (qualifiers for Gran Canaria) at Loughborough, so I was in good shape.

“My coach Mike McNeil and I had devised a new competition, plan as a protection against injuries. It was very early for me to be competing, but I built it up over the competition last weekend with each throw, starting at 80%, then 85% and throwing 90% in round three, before letting loose in round four, which is where I threw my PB.

“Now it’s back to winter training, a contrast to the 34 degrees heat of last week!” added Hughes, who reached the final of the World Junior Championships in Poland last year.

Studying for a sports and exercise science degree at University of Essex, Hughes continues to train on the West Suffolk Arena track in Bury St Edmunds, although he now does his gym work at Finborough School.

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